Younis, Misbah look to end careers on a high in West Indies Test series
KINGSTON – Retiring stalwarts Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq will be aiming to sign off their international careers on a high as Pakistan looks to win its first ever Test series in the West Indies.
Younis and Misbah, who have seen individual ranking highs of first and sixth, respectively, have one last chance to help the Pakistan team, which has to win the three-Test series starting Friday to stay in fifth position in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings.
Younis, who spent 72 days at the top of the rankings after scoring a triple-century in Karachi against Sri Lanka in February 2009, will be the second-highest ranked batsman in the series at eighth position, just one position behind Pakistan opener Azhar Ali.
Misbah, who remained in the top 15 from November 2011 to December 2016, has a chance to improve his ranking of 26th in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, and as captain, ensure Pakistan does not slip from its current tally of 97 points.
Younis and Misbah have a job at hand since even a 3-0 series sweep will not be enough for Pakistan to overtake England’s tally of 101 points while just a 1-0 series loss will see it slip behind sixth-placed New Zealand, which is on 96 points.
Pakistan, which attained top ranking after drawing a four-match series 2-2 to England in August last year, has slipped since then, losing six of eight Tests. It defeated the West Indies 2-1 in a home series in the United Arab Emirates but subsequently lost 2-0 to New Zealand and 3-0 to Australia in away series.
Pakistan can at best go to 99 points whereas a 3-0 loss could see it slip to 89 points and seventh position in the 10-team table led by India with 122 points. South Africa and Australia are second and third with 109 and 108 points, respectively.
Pakistan batsmen Asad Shafiq (24th) and Sarfraz Ahmed (25th) are the other leading batsmen in the series while leg-spinner Yasir Shah is the top-ranked player from either side in the MRF Tyres ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers with Wahab Riaz at a career-best 19th position.
For the West Indies, Kraigg Brathwaite (20th) and Jermaine Blackwood (46th) are the leading batsmen while leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo would be looking to move further up from his career-best 25th rank among bowlers.
Pakistan v West Indies
21-25 April – 1st Test, Kingston
30 April-4 May, 2nd Test, Bridgetown
10-14 May – 3rd Test, Roseau
ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 19 April, before the West Indies-Pakistan series)
Rank Team Points
1. India 122
2. South Africa 109
3. Australia 108
4. England 101
5. Pakistan 97
6. New Zealand 96
7. Sri Lanka 90
8. West Indies 69
9. Bangladesh 66
10. Zimbabwe 05